Ruby Rose Fox Is A Must-See Up-and-Coming Artist
There is a Boston-based singer-songwriter named Ruby Rose Fox. Do not forget her name because she (along with her backing vocalists, the Gloria Steinems) will be a big star in the not-too-distant future.
Described as a vocal powerhouse of soul-driven edgy rock ‘n roll, Ruby stuns a crowd when the first notes pour from her mouth. The first time I saw her, without having heard any of her music, my jaw dropped and I was hooked.
This show at the Middle East Downstairs was her album release show for Domestic, her new full-length album. When I read the announcement of the show and noticed it was at one of my least-favorite venues (I got claustrophobia when I was there and had not returned), I commented that only Ruby and Julie Rhodes (one of the opening acts) could get me there and I am extremely glad that I went.
I expected the level of energy to be high, but the not-quite-sold-out crowd raised the roof on the club! Everyone was excited for this show, both audience and band!
Ruby cites Roy Orbison as her main influence, and it is obvious once you hear her sing. Blessed with a wide vocal range, including Orbison’s fabulous tenor, Ruby also writes most if not all of the band’s material.
How often have you heard a song that has ‘Mr. Gorbachev’ in the lyrics? I would guess that Ruby’s song ‘Ronald Reagan Killed the Radio’ is the first time! I know it was for me.
All of her songs make the listener think. ‘Rock Bottom’ is one of them. It is about Rosemary Kennedy (who had an early lobotomy that was botched), as well as a family member who has some shared traits with Kennedy but who fortunately was not subjected to a lobotomy. Knowing the basis for the song brought a tear to my eyes.
The Gloria Steinems (what a brilliant name for a group of backing singers) are Mally Smith, Colleen McNamara, and Julia Mark, and they are marvelous! The film 20 Feet from Stardom was on my mind as I listened to them. Each has a gorgeous voice that complements Ruby’s voice beautifully.
Her terrific band consists of Dave Brophy on drums, John Bragg on guitar, Josh Friedman on keyboards, Tony Savarino on guitar, and Matt Girard on bass. (I apologize for not getting more shots of the band – the stage was full and it was almost impossible from where I was standing to get clear shots of anyone other than Josh.)
There were three opening acts for this show. The first to the stage was Weakened Friends. They call themselves an indie noise junk band.
Fronted by Sonia Sturino and Annie Hoffman on guitar and bass, with Cam Jones on drums, they are rockers. Their music is not the kind I prefer, but I appreciate seeing women rockers putting their music out for the world to hear.
Next up was Julie Rhodes, who is another one of my favorite musicians. Also blessed with a powerhouse of a voice, Julie’s style is soulful blues, or bluesy soul; whatever you call it, Julie’s voice also makes one’s jaw drop the first time you hear her. As I have written, she is a combination of Etta James, Janis Joplin, and Aretha Franklin.
Julie released her début album in March to wide acclaim, and I think it was someone’s brilliance who put Julie on the same bill as Ruby. Get yourself a copy of Julie’s album Bound to Meet the Devil.
Jeremy and the Harlequins was the last opener before Ruby’s set. Based in New York, which was evident in both their accents and their humor, they are a rock band that channels 1950s and 1960s rock.
They – and especially Jeremy Fury, the front man and lead singer – connected with the audience and has most people at least swaying and head bobbing.
This show was well worth attending, and I did not have an attack of claustrophobia! Going to a venue I strongly dislike is testament to the quality of the musicians.
It is also a testament to being open-minded; I had a great time, was treated well by the staff, and would have been extremely disappointed had I missed such a marvelous show.
Thanks to Ruby Rose Fox for the ticket; all opinions are my own.
Posted on July 2, 2016, in concert photos, concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged boston, Colleen McNamara, concert photos, concert review, Jeremy and the Harlequins, Julia Mark, Julie Rhodes, Mally Smith, Middle East Downstairs, rock music, Ruby Rose Fox, soul music, The Gloria Steinems, Weakened Friends. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.